Labour Relations and Regulations - Aspects of HRM

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on June 05, 2016

After the industrial revolution, Labour rights have become an integral part of the social and economic development. The communication between employees (workers), the employer (manager) and the government which is responsible for making the laws for them are known as Industrial relation or labour relation. These labour laws are responsible for the employee well-being in the industry which will include hiring and suspension, maternity leave, working hours, pension and formation of a union. International Labour Organization (ILO) is the first organization at the international level to be responsible for the labour issues. In the constitution of India, there are certain laws which look after the workers provisions. According to Article 15, there should not be any discrimination in the workplace on the basis of religion, caste, gender, race and place of birth.

A Labour relation comprises of techniques and societal values. Certain techniques are work organization, methodology to negotiate, difference correction and consultation and societal values incorporates are searching for maximized profits and freedom of association. Labour Regulation provide the harmonious framework in which employers, employees can interact in regard to labour related issues and provide the guarantee of the fundamental principles which are accepted socially. In India, labour laws enacted during the British period were generally in the interest of the British. Factories Act was enacted in 1883 because of the pressure build by the textile magnets of Manchester in the British parliament due to which India has to follow 8 hours of work, restriction of women in the night shift and abolition of child labour. Trade Dispute Act, 1929 helps in restraining the rights of the strike and lockout.

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The environment of business changes continuously and create newer challenges which can be political, social, economic, legal and environmental. Dependence between business and environment is mutual as the firm takes inputs like raw material, energy, and labour from the environment and after converting them into goods and services are returned back to the environment. Labour relation are in the transition stage as countries move from planned to free market economies.

Three main players have been identified as parties to the labour relations:

1. The government has an influential role on the emergence of labour relation system. An organization who provide safe and healthy environment are more likely to have productive employees and which will yield long-term benefits to the organization.

2. Employers, who provide the work are differentiated on the basis whether they work in the private sector or public sector.

3. The trade union, defined as a continuous association of those people in the firm who are earning wage and work for the improving and maintaining the conditions of the employment.

Three views described by industrial relations are:

1. Unitarian: In this organization is considered as an integrated unit where employer and employee share the common goal and more leverage is given to mutual cooperation. The loyalty of employees for the organization is the most desired characteristic.

2. Pluralist: According to this, organizations comprises of powerful and divergent groups in which each has their own leaders and follow a set of objectives. The two predominant groups are management and trade union.

3. Radical: It is based on the capital structure and there is a division between capital and labour on the basis of interest and how the workplace is related to them.

The three stages cover by the industrial relation are problem-solving, science building and ethics. According to the science building, the industrial relation is a part of social sciences, which through high-quality research tries to understand the employment relationship in institutions. As in reality, labour markets are not perfectly competitive and thus employers have the greater bargaining power than those of employees. Employee participation and representation are adding an adding dimensional to the labour relation in the number of countries. Separate legislation is there in most of the countries for the rights and protection of the employees in the public and the private sector and moreover, the private relation has been influenced by forces of international competition.

Economic development has brought the following changes in the society:

1. Large number of women step out for work

2. Substantial increase in the people moving from joint families to nuclear families

3. Increase in the life expectancy

Employment policies should be comprehensive, clear and non-discriminatory and should ensure the following conditions:

1. Proper recruitment and selection with respect to the qualifications and experience

2. Should provide advancement opportunities to each employee without any discrimination

3. Workers should be clear about the following:

-arrangements of trade union

-disciplinary rules

-general conditions of the employment

-company’s industrial relations and personnel policies

4. Employers should be kept abreast of changing technologies by providing job training or certification of approved courses

5. A periodic review to ensure efficiency

6. Provision should be there for employees for further educational standard if they desire

As per various acts laid by the parliament, management has the following duty:

1. Work should be organized in such a way that it should be practicable

2. Statutory measures to be adopted in order to prevent the accidents at the workplace

3. Factories, offices, workshops should be furnished with facilities to meet the requirements of safety, health and welfare regulations

Workers has the following responsibilities:

1. All protective equipment to be used during the working hours

2. Must understands carefully the safety and health regulations

3. Should have a cooperative behaviour with fellow workers and management in the development of safety and health measures.

Importance of industrial relations are as following:

1. Industries which have good relation with the employees are motivated and shows the interest in taking the ownership of job thus help in improving the quality of product or service.

2. It ensures the smooth running of operation and hence ensures continuous production which thus provides continuous employment.

3. Industrial disputes are reduced

4. Morale of the employee is increased

5. Employees are engaged positively and hence they thought themselves as partners of the industry.

In every country priorities for reforms are changing the way in which the firm is financed, cutting the cost and including the marketing mechanisms. These reforms though have improved the conditions in the firms but the issues of human resources have been neglected. Very few issues have been rectified like remuneration systems and incentives. Therefore, countries bringing the reform differ in the depth and the degree to which these reforms affect those who are employed in the sector. Because of these reforms employment has become more dangerous because of the increase in segmentation and also increase the intensity of the work.

This article has been authored by Reena Pal from IIM Kashipur







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